Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries trace their origin to the Native American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eating blueberries won't make you lose weight; whenever you eat food, you're giving your body calories. However, blueberries are a low-calorie fruit that enhances your daily nutrition. Eating blueberries in lieu of more fattening snacks cuts the calories you get from your diet.
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Blueberries and other berries are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Most berries give you between 50 and 100 calories per serving. According to the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, blueberries may also enhance your health. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals; this may decrease the likelihood that you'll get cancer and other diseases. Blueberries may also contain compounds that reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke, help your body fight off infection and encourage better vision and memory.
Calories and Nutrients
One serving size of blueberries is the equivalent to 1/2 cup. Blueberries are so low in calories, even doubling the serving size won't break your diet. One cup of blueberries has only 80 calories. Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, you also get 15 percent of your daily value, or DV, of dietary fiber and 30 percent of vitamin C. Other berries are also calorie frugal: A cup of sliced strawberries gives you 50 calories, and the same portion of blackberries and raspberries gives you only 60 calories.
Blueberries and other types of fruit are healthy choices when your energy is running low. Choose snacks that contain no more than 100 calories if you're trying to keep your weight under control. Raw vegetables, air-popped popcorn, reduced-fat whole grain snacks and low-fat dairy snacks such as yogurt and cheese make good snacks as well. A 4-oz. serving of plain, nonfat yogurt topped with 1/4 cup blueberries weighs in right at 90 calories.
How Weight Loss Works
No fruit, vegetable or other food has the capability to boost your metabolism. Weight loss results when you burn more calories than you consume. Using a calorie calculator can give you a rough idea of how much you eat every day. For example, a 35-year-old, 5-foot, 6-inch-tall female who weighs 160 lbs. likely consumes around 1,727 calories a day, if she gets little or no exercise. This puts her body mass index at 25.8, which tips her into the slightly overweight range. Trimming calories from your diet by substituting healthy, low-calorie, low-fat foods for processed snacks, sweets and fatty foods can make a slow, sure difference in your weight.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Berries
- Nutrientfacts.com: Blueberries: Skim Plain Yogurt
- American Council on Exercise: Diet Myths Debunked
- Harvard Medical School; Calorie Counting Made Easy; April 2009
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fruits and Vegetables
- American Council on Exercise: Daily Caloric Needs Calculator